EL PASO. Texas – The UTEP football team will hit the road to play on the blue turf at Boise State on Friday, Sept. 10. The Miners and Broncos are set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. MT in Albertsons Stadium. The contest will be televised on FS1, while it marks the first trip back to Boise since the 2003 season.
The contest can be heard on KLAQ 95.5, while the audio stream will be available on the UTEP Miners App with “The Voice of the UTEP Miners” Jon Teicher calling the action with play-by-play, former UTEP quarterback Mike Perez providing analysis, and Mando Medina roaming the sidelines.
UTEP (2-0) is coming off its second consecutive win to start the 2021 season after defeating Bethune-Cookman, 38-28, on Sept. 4 in the Sun Bowl. The Miners are 2-0 for the first time since the 2005 when they started 3-0 that season.
Gavin Hardison tossed a career-high three touchdowns, while Ronald Awatt (126 yards) and Willie Eldridge (118 yards) combined for 244 of UTEP’s 289 rushing yards versus Bethune-Cookman. Trent Thompson, Jacob Cowing and Justin Garrett were on the other end of Hardison’s scoring passes. Defensively, Dennis Barnes picked off his first career pass, while Dy’vonne Inyang led the way with six stops. Breon Hayward and Keenan Stewart harassed the quarterback with a sack each.
Boise State (0-1) also faced a Florida school, falling in its season opener at UCF, 36-31, on Sept. 2. UCF rallied from a 21-point deficit (21-0), outscoring the Broncos 22-7 in the second half. Boise State took a 24-14 lead into the locker room at the half, but was held to one touchdown during the fourth quarter. Hank Bachmeier tossed a pair of touchdowns on 25-of-39 passing (64.1 percent) for 263 yards. UCF stuffed the Broncos’ run game, holding them to 20 yards on 26 attempts. Andrew Van Buren led BSU with 26 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown. Khalil Shakir reeled in five passes for 91 yards and a pair of scores. Safety J.L. Skinner led the Broncos defense with 13 tackles, while cornerback Tyric LeBeauf picked off two passes, including one that went 100 yards for a touchdown.
“We studied Boise tape, not only because of the time frame, just because of their new head coach. He brings a lot of stuff with from Oregon but was also there a couple years ago at Boise,” fourth-year UTEP Head Coach Dana Dimel said. “So, there’s a lot of things there from Boise that he brought back to Boise that they’ve done in the past. They do a nice job of coaching the defense, very sound and disciplined. It’s an aggressive defense that does a lot of good things. Offensively, their quarterback has a lot of experience. He’s a talented quarterback who has the ability to spin the ball really well. They have good backs who are outstanding players and have really good skill at the wide receiver position. They have a lot of speed on their offense and defense.”
UTEP (2-0) at Boise State (0-1)
Date: Friday, Sept. 10
Time: 7:00 p.m. MT
Location: Boise, Idaho
Venue: Albertsons Stadium
Twitter Updates: @UTEPFB
PxP: Alex Faust
Analyst: Petros Papadakis
Radio: KLAQ 95.5 FM | UTEP Miners App
PxP: Jon Teicher
Analyst: Mike Perez
Sideline: Mando Medina
- UTEP is playing at Boise State for the first time since the first time since the 2003 season. In their first-ever game at Bronco Stadium (now Albertsons Stadium), the Miners fell to the Broncos, 38-23, in the Crucial.com Humanitarian Bowl on Nov. 28, 2000. On Oct. 15, the 2000 Western Athletic Conference Champion Miners will be inducted into the UTEP Athletics Hall of Fame, with at least 40 members of that historic squad slated to return to El Paso.
- UTEP ranks 11th in the country in passing yards per completion (17.2 avg.). Four Miners (Ronald Awatt, Jacob Cowing, Justin Garrett, Tyrin Smith) have caught passes of 20 yards or more already this season after a total of five did so across eight contests in 2020.
- Gavin Hardison rates 16th nationally in passing efficiency (185.7) in his second year as a starter. He has thrown for four TD’s with only one interception through two games. Last week against Bethune Cookman, he became the first Miner quarterback to pass for three TD’s in a game in five years.
- UTEP is averaging three sacks per game to rank 29th nationally. The Miners have received solo sacks from six players — Praise Amaewhule, Breon Hayward, James Neal, Keenan Stewart, Jadrian Taylor and Deylon Williams — in 2021. With six sacks, UTEP is nearly halfway towards its 2020 total of 13 in eight games. A total of seven Miners registered a sack a year ago.
- Trent Thompson scored his first career touchdown during the first quarter against Bethune-Cookman. Thompson was the first UTEP tight end to score a touchdown since 2018 when David Lucero broke free for an 88-yard score at WKU on Nov. 17.
- Tyrin Smith, who made his first career start, tallied career highs in receptions (four), receiving yards (76) and long reception (52) against Bethune-Cookman.
- The Miners amassed 452 yards of offense in the season opener at NM State, and added 472 more last week versus Bethune Cookman. Dating back to the 2020 season finale at North Texas, UTEP has compiled 450+ yards of offense in three consecutive outings for the first time since the 2009 season (UAB – 607, Tulane – 486, SMU – 627).